Hi there, I am in Macclesfield in Vic 3782.
I am looking for a home phone, internet, and if possible, an iPad. I cannot seem to find a provider (aside from Telstra) that has any signal out there. Any suggestions would be appreciated!! Thanks, Jacinta
I think the problem here is the word 'signal'.
Let's step back - an internet connection can mean a few things. It can mean ADSL2+ (which is a dedicated high speed connection over your phone line) or it can mean a connection over a mobile network (Mobile Broadband). These two things are absolutely not equal - ADSL2+ is significantly better value and more stable. The only advantage of Mobile Broadband is that it's quick and easy to set up, and portable. But in the long run, it's more frustrating for use at home, and offers far less data for the same amount of money.
As for your iPad, - tablets and smartphones have two options to connect to the internet, both of them 'wireless' - in that no wires are used. But it's important to consider the difference between wireless technologies.
Mobile Broadband is a wireless connection direct to the service provider, via a mobile network. Wi-Fi is a shorter range connection to your modem, which is then connected to the phone socket, with that stronger, better value ADSL2+ connection. In a nutshell: Mobile Broadband is a service you pay for. Wi-Fi is a feature of the modem that you buy.
The word 'signal' that you use suggests that you've only considered mobile broadband as an all-in-one solution for your needs, which I wouldn't recommend - especially since you say you also need a home phone. My recommendation, based on what's available in Macclesfield.
Note: Bundles don't always get you what you're looking for. This recommendation is about what's available in your area, and what meets your need, for the cheapest price. I've disregarded bundling here.
For Home Phone
Telstra Homeline Budget - $22.95/month. Call 1800 331 286
Most basic home plan available; doesn't come with calls included, just provides the service. Homeline Plus ($31.95) is good value if you want good call rates.
For ADSL2+ Internet
TPG OffNet 200GB - $59.95/month (Call 1300 106 571)
Dodo Regional Unlimited - $69.95/month (Call 1300 136 793)
Home Phone + ADSL2+ Internet Bundle
It's hard to find goof value bundles in Regional areas. I might recommend Internode Easy Reach:
Internode Easy Reach 60GB Bundle - $79.90/month. Call 1300 106 571. Includes Home Phone with calls at cheap rates (no flagfalls), 60GB data. No contract term.
An ADSL2+ Wi-Fi Modem/Router will cost you $110 with TPG, or $120 from Internode. Should cost less from Dodo, depending on the length of contract you take.
An iPad bought outright, with just Wi-Fi capability (so, will only connect to your home network when you're in range of about 50 metres to the modem) will start from about $539. It's cheaper to buy this on finance from JB Hifi or Harvey Norman than to pay it off with a 24 month data plan from a 3G Mobile Broadband provider.
If you DO want to buy it on a plan, and Telstra is the only game in town for a mobile network, then that's your only option. Call Telstra on 13 22 00.
You may want to see if Vodafone have upgraded their network in your area, as part of their $1bn network upgrade. They have plans for the new iPad starting from $45 per month with 2GB of mobile data.
If ADSL2+ is not available
There's a very real possibility that ADSL2+ is not available at your address - mostly because you're not close enough to the telephone exchange. If that's the case, then Mobile Broadband is your only option, and as before, Telstra may be the only option. But I would recommend you look into this first - consider that a Telstra plan with 15Gb of data (just enough for software updates, browsing, internet and maybe one or two movie downloads) costs $89.95 a month on the Telstra network.
If you need any further help, or wish to connect with TPG, Internode or Vodafone, please call us at 1300 106 571.
Adam at CompareBroadband